Idealism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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lostitude
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Re: Idealism

Post by lostitude » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:51 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:18 pm
We have never been in deep space, yet we know huge amounts of information about it. Same goes with mental observation of outer phenomena.
Appealing to deep space doesn’t discredit idealism.
Yes it does. If that's how you participate in what you describe as a debate, I can save my energy too.


I mean that all you and I know and experience is mental phenomena and idea.
Then how come you don't doubt that I exist, as you previously stated?


Because I don’t think you are matter.
So your stance is that there exists things out there, but they are not matter because matter does not exist. So you have something against thhe word matter and you wish to replace it with a better term? will changing the label actually chane anything in practice? what then would you call that stuff which physically interacts with you when I shake your hand? can you shake hands with an idea?

You are right in that science doesn’t get involved with metaphysics which is exactly why I said my idealism doesn’t effect my ability to do science. When I look down the microscope the experience is the same.
But to be consistent with your previous explanations about the mind, when you look down the microscope you do assume that the image it projects is created by the microscope and you have no reason to believe there is an actual organism underneath it. Just like you have no reason to believe there is an actual physical tree in front of you because all you experience is a mental tree concept. Are you really ok with that?

Can you know anything of an apple outside of the mental experience, yes or no?
Yes. Already discussed,we're just going around in circles here.
Which logical fallacy would that be? Name it please.
You reasoning (based on the one you use for the mind, so here I equate your mind with your microscope) is: "I see a yeast in a microscope. The only way I can see a yeast is through my microscope. Therefore I have no reason to believe the yeast exists, and it makes more sense to believe my microscope created that image." I don't even know what to call it, there is simply no logical relationship between your premise and the conclusion.
Where were those black holes no one had ever seen until recently? just a figment of our imagination surely?
I think they existed before we looked at them.
You have no reason to do so.


The mind creates the duality, no?
No, it may simply notice it. What allows you to assert that your mind creates anything? that's a gratuitous assumption. Should I quote you about being an empiricist and rationalist rejecting any unproven argument?

Through Buddhadhamma. When you look into a mirror that is an idea constructed through paṭiccasamuppāda.
Are you suddenly talking about faith now? or is it still supposed to be empirism?

the way I'm not arguing to try to convert you to materialism. I'm just stating what, to me, makes sense and what doesn't. As soon as you produce acceptably convincing arguments I'll have no reason to persist. I hope you see it the same way.
I doubt that.
Suit yourself. But I haven't seen you make any effort to show how your position makes more sense than what I'm offering. All you do is very superficially deny whatever I write, and then you offer no detailed explanation as to how your alternative view could possibly work. You haven't said a word about the consistency argument I have offered on several occasions already... that's a pity. You may not be open to the possibility of changing your mind, but I am. Provided of course that the argument holds water. So far it really doesn't.

lostitude
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Re: Idealism

Post by lostitude » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:59 pm

sunnat wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:42 pm
What laws exist in this world. How is two or more people viewing, feeling, smelling etc the same event and describing it as the same event explained. What's the mechanism.
I think that's precisely the kind of situation warranting the acceptance of matter as a basis to describe how this works. From an idealist perspective denying matter, I really don't see how you can satisfactorily describe such cases and draw conclusions and make predictions.

Dinsdale
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Re: Idealism

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:01 pm

sunnat wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:42 pm
What laws exist in this world. How is two or more people viewing, feeling, smelling etc the same event and describing it as the same event explained. What's the mechanism.
I think the commonality of perception supports the idea that there is stuff "out there", stuff we all experience in a similar way. It seems like a reasonable assumption at least.

Though there are probably philosophers who would challenge this assumption!
Buddha save me from new-agers!

chownah
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Re: Idealism

Post by chownah » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:07 pm

binocular wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:44 pm
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:36 pm
When I drop a brick on my foot all I experience is mental. There is no evidence of an independent thing outside of hardness, pain etc.
Whether one sticks to naive realism and with it to the dichotomy external/internal, or whether one tries to abandon it, either way, one is on the way to the looney bin.
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:36 pm
When I drop a brick on my foot all I experience is mental. There is no evidence of an independent thing outside of hardness, pain etc.
Without further qualification, it is then impossible to distinguish between reality (" ") and hallucination (" "); a distinction that has some practical value.
It is impossible to distinguish between reality and hallucination as they are pretty much the same thing the main difference being a subtle shift in the chemical functioning of the brain. Also, there is the quandry "am I a grasshopper dreaming about being a man or a man dreaming about being a grasshopper".

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:10 pm

lostitude wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:59 pm
sunnat wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:42 pm
What laws exist in this world. How is two or more people viewing, feeling, smelling etc the same event and describing it as the same event explained. What's the mechanism.
I think that's precisely the kind of situation warranting the acceptance of matter as a basis to describe how this works. From an idealist perspective denying matter, I really don't see how you can satisfactorily describe such cases and draw conclusions and make predictions.

Because an idealist world and a materialist world can function in the same way.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:22 pm

lostitude
Yes it does. If that's how you participate in what you describe as a debate, I can save my energy too.
I’m afraid it doesn’t since you only know those concepts through ...mind.



Then how come you don't doubt that I exist, as you previously stated?
Because I don’t think you are dependent upon my mind despite being immaterial. I never stated otherwise.


So your stance is that there exists things out there, but they are not matter because matter does not exist. So you have something against thhe word matter and you wish to replace it with a better term? will changing the label actually chane anything in practice? what then would you call that stuff which physically interacts with you when I shake your hand? can you shake hands with an idea?
To assume matter, which you do, is to assume that there is a thing separate from mental phenomenon despite the fact that you can’t possibly know this.

Yes, I can shake hands with an idea. I can have sex with idea too, laugh with idea, hate idea and so on.
But to be consistent with your previous explanations about the mind, when you look down the microscope you do assume that the image it projects is created by the microscope and you have no reason to believe there is an actual organism underneath it. Just like you have no reason to believe there is an actual physical tree in front of you because all you experience is a mental tree concept. Are you really ok with that?
I think my reality is as my mind constructs it. I’m fine with that.


Yes. Already discussed,we're just going around in circles here.
We are since all you can know is mental in nature. You never experience anything outside of your mind.


You reasoning (based on the one you use for the mind, so here I equate your mind with your microscope) is: "I see a yeast in a microscope. The only way I can see a yeast is through my microscope. Therefore I have no reason to believe the yeast exists, and it makes more sense to believe my microscope created that image." I don't even know what to call it, there is simply no logical relationship between your premise and the conclusion.
So, not a logical fallacy just as I thought. My logical is quite simple. All we can know is mental in nature, therefore I cannot claim that matter exists since I never experience such a thing.

Are you suddenly talking about faith now? or is it still supposed to be
My faith merely enhances my empiricism. Take my faith away and I would still be arguing in a similar, although slightly different, fashion.


Suit yourself. But I haven't seen you make any effort to show how your position makes more sense than what I'm offering. All you do is very superficially deny whatever I write, and then you offer no detailed explanation as to how your alternative view could possibly work. You haven't said a word about the consistency argument I have offered on several occasions already... that's a pity. You may not be open to the possibility of changing your mind, but I am. Provided of course that the argument holds water. So far it really doesn't.
No effort despite replying to every single post you made 🤷🏻‍♂️

chownah
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Re: Idealism

Post by chownah » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:26 pm

lostitude wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:02 am

1/When I eat an apple, I get tons of feedback through all my senses, and they never, ever contradict. "Bugs in the Matrix" only happen in Hollywood movies. When feeling my teeth plunge into the apple, I hear it just when it happens, I feel a sour slightly sour taste which makes me realize that it wasn't quite ripe, I see the shape of my teeth in the part I just bit, which perfectly matches my teeth even though I have no idea what my teeth look like and would need a mirror to check their shape.
Everything you have described here is a mental event.
Yes but that was not my point. My point is that they have absolute consistency. Which your mind is incapable of, as demonstrated by the countless lapses and mind bugs you experience in daily life.
I think you are making an error in logic here. You assume that there is something out in the real world which happens with absolute consistency (this is an error but not the one I want to mention) and since the mind is incapable of such consistency it is not possible for the mind to generate that absolute consistency which you see and attribute to the real world out there.....BUT......if you hold the view that all which you see and identifiy as being real and out there which is absolutely consistent is actually mind generated then what you have is a mind fully capable of absolute consistency. You attribute the absolute consistency which the mind generates (from a mind only perspective) to some fantasy 'real world out there somewhere'......I think there is a name for this kind of error but it escapes me.....affirming the antecedent?
chownah

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Idealism

Post by Ceisiwr » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:32 pm

P1) An apple is experienced as hard, soft, sweet etc.

P2) Outside of these sensations nothing can be said of the apple.

C1) Therefore, all we can know of the apple (and other objects) are its mental phenomenal qualities.

C2) Therefore, we cannot speak of anything apart from these qualities/sensations and so “matter” is unknown.

chownah
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Re: Idealism

Post by chownah » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:20 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:32 pm
P1) An apple is experienced as hard, soft, sweet etc.

P2) Outside of these sensations nothing can be said of the apple.

C1) Therefore, all we can know of the apple (and other objects) are its mental phenomenal qualities.

C2) Therefore, we cannot speak of anything apart from these qualities/sensations and so “matter” is unknown.
We are in a theravada forum and one wonders what the meaning is for the "All" sutta and the several "World" suttas with respect to how the buddha suggests one consider the "world" and the "all". Not much room in these teachings for some "out there in the real world" idea.
chownah

Dinsdale
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Re: Idealism

Post by Dinsdale » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:34 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:20 pm
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:32 pm
P1) An apple is experienced as hard, soft, sweet etc.

P2) Outside of these sensations nothing can be said of the apple.

C1) Therefore, all we can know of the apple (and other objects) are its mental phenomenal qualities.

C2) Therefore, we cannot speak of anything apart from these qualities/sensations and so “matter” is unknown.
We are in a theravada forum and one wonders what the meaning is for the "All" sutta and the several "World" suttas with respect to how the buddha suggests one consider the "world" and the "all". Not much room in these teachings for some "out there in the real world" idea.
chownah
I disagree. SN35.23 is describing the experience of our personal world, and this is based on sense-objects arising at the bodily sense bases.
The sense-objects are derived from form (rupa), eg we see visible form.

Where do think sights, sounds, odours, flavours and sensations come from, if not "out there"?

Note also that MN140 makes a clear distinction between internal and external form, eg bodily fluids and the ocean in the case of the liquid element.

And can you reference any suttas which clearly say there is nothing out there?

https://suttacentral.net/sn35.23/en/bodhi
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lostitude
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Re: Idealism

Post by lostitude » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:41 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:22 pm
lostitude
Yes it does. If that's how you participate in what you describe as a debate, I can save my energy too.
I’m afraid it doesn’t since you only know those concepts through ...mind.
Yes for those scientists there is no question that what they know about deep space is real. That's what I'm talking about: you don't really tackle my remarks, you just repeat over and over "all I know goes thrrough my mind, therefore it cannot have any existence outside of it", which is a false argument.



Then how come you don't doubt that I exist, as you previously stated?
Because I don’t think you are dependent upon my mind despite being immaterial. I never stated otherwise.
Alright, then what is your alternative explanation? I haven't seen any.



To assume matter, which you do, is to assume that there is a thing separate from mental phenomenon despite the fact that you can’t possibly know this.
Yes you can, unless you remain blind to the fact that your mind has no control over those things, and that there is a clear distinction between the world of thoughts and the physical world.
But I could actually return the same to you: you can't possibly know that your mind actually generates anything, nor do you have any justification to explain why it's not the same to imagine something in your mind's eye, and to see something physical with your physical eyes.

Yes, I can shake hands with an idea. I can have sex with idea too, laugh with idea, hate idea and so on.
If you are not pulling my leg, then don't you think such a statement would deserve some elaboration? You say you reply to my every post, but compare the length of my responses with the length of yours. I think either you want to debate and you should, or you don't want to and you should say it clearly so that no one wastes anyone's time.


I think my reality is as my mind constructs it. I’m fine with that.
Yet you have no proof that your mind can actually construct anything. Daily experience strengly suggests otherwise: inability to remember, inability to foresee, inability to properly assess situations, confusion, lack of understanding, etc. are all our lot. That's a a very far shot from the "supercomputing mind" that could possibly generate the infinite complexity of the universe as we know it.

Yes. Already discussed,we're just going around in circles here.
We are since all you can know is mental in nature. You never experience anything outside of your mind.
Which explains absolutely nothing. Nor does it refute anything. Again, we've been over this before. So I suggest it might make more sense for you to rebuke what I wrote previously instead of always repeating this mantra of yours...

You reasoning (based on the one you use for the mind, so here I equate your mind with your microscope) is: "I see a yeast in a microscope. The only way I can see a yeast is through my microscope. Therefore I have no reason to believe the yeast exists, and it makes more sense to believe my microscope created that image." I don't even know what to call it, there is simply no logical relationship between your premise and the conclusion.
So, not a logical fallacy just as I thought. My logical is quite simple. All we can know is mental in nature, therefore I cannot claim that matter exists since I never experience such a thing.
Not a logical fallacy? it's a false inference at the very least. From "the only way I can see a yeast is through a microscope", it does NOT follow that "therefore it's more likely that my microscope created that image". Please rebut that. Until you haven't, none of what you say has any sound logic to it.
Are you suddenly talking about faith now? or is it still supposed to be
My faith merely enhances my empiricism. Take my faith away and I would still be arguing in a similar, although slightly different, fashion.
Well that's usrprising because as far as I know, in paṭiccasamuppāda there is a clear distinction between mental phenomena (thoughts, percetipons, etc.) and physical ones (form, action). And the complete separation between thoughts and actions are at the core of the concept. Which what youu describe seems to abolish.

Dan74
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Re: Idealism

Post by Dan74 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:47 pm

Well of course "out there" cannot be conclusively proven, since all we have is our senses and they can be manipulated. In the West, Descartes talked about this at length, including a thought experiment of an evil genius manipulating one's mind and making reality appear completely different to what it is. Plato too, with his cave. Descartes, however, was pragmatic, as was the Buddha way before him. Both admitted that all we conclusively know are the senses, but it makes sense to admit the world, rather than collapse into solipsism, like Berkley's tree that only makes a sound if there is someone to hear it.


As Buddhists, we practice both with the khandas and our actions in the world - inner and outer, idealist and materialist, until the dichotomy disappears.

It must also be mentioned that we make predictions based on our current understanding of the world which come true. Whether it is a weather forecast, a Higgs boson or a Black Hole, not only do we have consensus reality, reality follows physical laws and we can even predict future discoveries based on our current understanding. Of course, the Universe could be a computer simulation, a Matrix of some sort, or a Mind, but in any case, there is evidence of something beyond my personal sensations, volitions, and mental formations, as much as I am constrained by them as my tools.
_/|\_

lostitude
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Re: Idealism

Post by lostitude » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:51 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:07 pm
to distinguish between reality and hallucination as they are pretty much the same thing the main difference being a subtle shift in the chemical functioning of the brain. Also, there is the quandry "am I a grasshopper dreaming about being a man or a man dreaming about being a grasshopper".
I disagree. That's a very common statement, but people don't wake up from a dream being convinced that the dream was reality and that the awake state is the dream.
Regarding reality vs. hallucinations, reality can always be verified through myriad ways. Hallucinations are pretty quickly revealed because of their inconsistencies, at least to a scientific mind that does not take direct perception for granted.

lostitude
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Re: Idealism

Post by lostitude » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:56 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:26 pm
lostitude wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:02 am

Everything you have described here is a mental event.
Yes but that was not my point. My point is that they have absolute consistency. Which your mind is incapable of, as demonstrated by the countless lapses and mind bugs you experience in daily life.
I think you are making an error in logic here.
I'm not sure I got your point.
chownah wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:26 pm
You assume that there is something out in the real world which happens with absolute consistency (this is an error but not the one I want to mention) and since the mind is incapable of such consistency it is not possible for the mind to generate that absolute consistency which you see and attribute to the real world out there.....BUT......if you hold the view that all which you see and identifiy as being real and out there which is absolutely consistent is actually mind generated then what you have is a mind fully capable of absolute consistency.
And I know that my mind is not capable of absolute consistency, becauses it proves me otherwise on a daily basis. So there we have a false statement that renders the whole argument false as well.

You attribute the absolute consistency which the mind generates (from a mind only perspective) to some fantasy 'real world out there somewhere'......I think there is a name for this kind of error but it escapes me.....affirming the antecedent?
chownah
I fail to see the error. I know, for the reasons stated just above, that the mind can't do that. So the most obvious assumption, and one that works perfectly well to understand the world we live in and interact with it, is that this consistency stems from the properties of external objects.

lostitude
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Re: Idealism

Post by lostitude » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:02 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:32 pm
P1) An apple is experienced as hard, soft, sweet etc.

P2) Outside of these sensations nothing can be said of the apple.

C1) Therefore, all we can know of the apple (and other objects) are its mental phenomenal qualities.

C2) Therefore, we cannot speak of anything apart from these qualities/sensations and so “matter” is unknown.
P2 is completely false. Of the apple, it can be said that it weighs X, that it hase a size of Y, that it has reached a degree of maturity of Z, that if you throw it at angle A with force B, it will land on point C in amount of time D, that it is made up of a skin, itself made up of XYZ, same for the pulp, same for the seeds, which contains molecules FGH, which interact in such and such way, that it has a certain color because of such and such wavelength etc. etc. but none of this is knowledge that comes from your mind. If it did, you wouldn't have to learn it and calculate it in the first place, and you wouldn't ever make calculation mistakes that would later be contradicted by the landing spot of the thrown apple, only to understand your calculation mistake in retropsect, THANKS to the inconsistency between what happened in reality vs. your mind's excpectations.

So obviously C1 and C2 are false as well.
Last edited by lostitude on Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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